The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


June 18, 2014

Arlene Johnston

Arlene June Johnston, 59, passed away quietly at home on June 15, 2014, after an amazingly courageous battle with Multiple System Atrophy. This disease may have ravaged her body, but never diminished her bright mind and determined spirit. 

Born Oct. 11, 1954, in Greenville  to Jack and Helen (Komar) Johnston, Arlene lived the childhood of a Navy family, living in California, Virginia and, upon Jack’s retirement, finally back to Texas.

She graduated from Greenville High School and went on to study education, and later accounting, at East Texas State University where she proudly pledged Alpha Delta Pi Sorority. Arlene has always been a natural leader and served as president of her sorority and manager of the East Texas State women’s basketball team.

Always active, Arlene enjoyed soccer and volleyball, played the piano and had a nifty eye for crafts.  

While living in Dallas, Arlene served on various boards, including the YMCA, Hemophiliac Society and Bryan’s House where she enjoyed rocking the babies. She was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Dallas, serving tirelessly in many capacities.

After working as an accountant for various Dallas oil and gas companies, Arlene finally heeded a higher calling and moved to Chicago where she received a Master’s of Divinity from Loyola University. She was hired as the pastoral associate at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Mount Prospect, Ill., leaving in 2008, only when she became too ill to continue.

Arlene brought a new spirit to the St. Cecilia parish family. She was instrumental in starting the Commissions of Faith Formation, Parish Life, Worship and Human Concerns as well as the Parish Council.

She was also very involved with the Hispanic ministry. One of Arlene’s most fulfilling accomplishments was the formation of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, for which she has a special affinity.

In August 2008, Arlene and her siblings traveled with a group from the Archdiocese of Chicago to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Arlene found peace and acceptance with her life and what it would become. Her journey has not been easy, but she was always able to show others what God’s grace can mean if you just accept it.  Arlene was a wonderful daughter and sister and a true friend.

Arlene was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Helen Johnston, and her sister, Anne Margaret Johnston. 

She will always be the big sister to brother Jim Johnston (Lynn) and sisters Alice Johnston and Andi Green (Terry). She will be fondly remembered by her nieces and nephews, and her 13 grandnieces and nephews will have the best Guardian Angel ever. 

Visitation and Rosary were held in Kyle on Wednesday.

The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. today at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church in Austin. There will be visitation at 1 p.m. on Friday at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home in Greenville with interment at 3 p.m. at Memoryland Memorial Park. 

In lieu of flowers, Arlene asked that donations be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 700 S. Meier Road, Mount Prospect, Ill. 60056.

A kind-hearted woman who dedicated her life to the service of others, Arlene gave of herself through hands-on outreach and quality time. She always shared her gifts of encouragement, joy and hope. Her works benefited her family, parish, friends and community. She was  a humble servant of God and example to us all. With a legacy of compassion and giving, Arlene embodied the true spirit of a Catholic woman.


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